COLUMBA (COLUMBUS, COLM, COLUMBKILL) (Saint) Abbot (June 9) (6th century) Of the blood of Irish chieftains, born in Donegal (December 7, A.D. 521), Columba was destined to be the founder of a hundred monasteries and the Apostle of Caledonia. From boyhood devoted to the study of Holy Scripture and day-by-day advancing in sanctity of life, he was ordained priest at the age of twenty-five. After founding Derry, Durrow and other religious houses, he with twelve disciples, crossed in the year 563 to Scotland, and landed in the Island of I or Hy (now called Iona), where he built the world-famed monastery which was for two centuries the nursery of Bishops and Saints. For thirty-four years Columba travelled about evangelising the Highlands of Scotland. At last, weighed down by age and infirmities, he died kneeling before the Altar (June 9, 597), and was buried at Iona. But in the ninth century his relics were translated to Down in Ulster, and laid by the side of those of Saint Patrick. Saint Adamnan, one of his successors at Iona, has left us an important and interesting Life of Saint Columba.